Then and Now #26 (9/5/2022 - 15/5/2022)
Happy Sunday! The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted @ Caffeinated Reviewer. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme. is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It is hosted weekly over at Mailbox Monday and every Friday they do a round-up of some of their favourite, shared reads!
It's been quite a week! I'm doing real good on my thesis, which is amazing, but my cat is ill and I'm just not entirely sure what's up. It seems to be a sterile bladder infection but the medication isn't necessarily doing anything. So they're going to do an ultrasound on Tuesday to see if they can find anything. I'm kinda worried about how stressed he'll get from it cause I'm leaving the day after to go to my sister's graduation. Hopefully it'll all turn out for the best though! I also had another therapy session that ended up with me crying my eyes out but I felt majorly relieved afterwards so that was actually pretty good. Something it just needs to all come out so you can let go of it.
I've also tried to get back to blogging and reading a little more and not let my thesis entirely dominate my life. I also need to start applying for jobs since the studying well and truly is coming to an end! I hope I'll still manage to snag a PhD position at some point since I'm quite passionate about my research, but at this point I'd just like the security of a paid position xD
- Review: The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, trans. by John E. Woods, narr. by David Rintoul
- Review: The Conjurer (The Vine Witch #3) by Luanne G. Smith
- Friday Friyay: The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner
- Review: The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
Florence + the Machine released their latest album, Dance Fever, and it's amazing. I had a listen through yesterday and it was an almost magical experience. Did I cry? Yes. Did it feel good? Yes. Here's the song that got to me most, oddly enough, Morning Elvis. The tears were real with this one.
And this one is also a solid favourite: Girls Against God.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Quercus Books; 9/19/2022)
Carlota Moreau: A young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula, the only daughter of a genius - or a madman.
Montgomery Laughton: A melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol, an outcast who assists Dr Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas with plentiful coffers.
The hybrids: The fruits of the Doctor's labour, destined to blindly obey their creator while they remain in the shadows, are a motley group of part-human, part-animal monstrosities.
All of them are living in a perfectly balanced and static world which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau's patron - who will, unwittingly, begin a dangerous chain-reaction.
For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle passions may ignite.
I adored Mexican Gothic and somehow managed to still be surprised by its twists despite it having been released a good year before I read it. Now I can't wait to see what she does with H.G. Wells' novel of horror and sadness.
Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth (Knopf Doubleday; 9/27/2022)
When Ralph and Abby Lamb move in with Ralph’s mother, Laura, Abby hopes it’s just what she and her mother-in-law need to finally connect. After a traumatic childhood, Abby is desperate for a mother figure, especially now that she and Ralph are trying to become parents themselves. Abby just has so much love to give—to Ralph, to Laura, and to Mrs. Bondy, her favorite resident at the long-term care home where she works. But Laura isn’t interested in bonding with her daughter-in-law. She’s venomous and cruel, especially to Abby, and life with her is hellish.
When Laura takes her own life, her ghost haunts Abby and Ralph in very different ways: Ralph is plunged into depression, and Abby is terrorized by a force intent on destroying everything she loves. To make matters worse, Mrs. Bondy’s daughter is threatening to move Mrs. Bondy from the home, leaving Abby totally alone. With everything on the line, Abby comes up with a chilling plan that will allow her to keep Mrs. Bondy, rescue Ralph from his tortured mind, and break Laura's hold on the family for good. All it requires is a little ingenuity, a lot of determination, and a unique recipe for chicken à la king…
I loved the look of the cover, the sheer drama of it, and the way the colours contrast. And who can resist the evil mother-in-law trope?
Bad Thoughts: Stories by Nada Alic (Knop Doubleday; 7/12/2022)
In contrast to the previous book, this one drew me in by its quiet cover, the way the outline of the shapes intersect just slightly. It gives me this idea of bad thoughts nestling in, of matryoshka dolls, one hiding inside the other.
Nada Alic's women—the perverts, nobodies, reality TV stars, poetic hopefuls, shameless party girls, and self-help addicts of Los Angeles and its environs—are all wrestling with a shared stark reality: the modern world. To cope, they live in their baddest thoughts: the lush, strange landscape of female make-believe.
In “Earth to Lydia,” a support group meets to enjoy earthly pleasures after achieving "too much enlightenment," engaging in bizarre exercises that escalate to a point of violence and fear. The narrator of "Ghost Baby"—the spirit of a proto-child assigned to a couple whose chemistry is waning—writhes in disembodied frustration as its parents fail to conceive it. In “Daddy's Girl,” the daughter of Eastern European immigrants tries to connect to her distant and difficult father through the invention of increasingly elaborate home maintenance repairs. And in “The Intruder,” a lonely woman’s break-in fantasy quickly builds to a full-blown obsession, until she finds an unwitting partner with whom to act it out.
Though each of Alic’s characters thrive and ache in different circumstances, they all grapple with the most painful equations of modern life: love, trust, power, loneliness, desire, violation, and vengeance. And she conjures them all with a voice that is instantly arresting, unexpectedly hilarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze (Union Square & Co; 10/4/2022)
Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their mother died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum.
Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say. . . notions that young ladies could never openly express.
I do enjoy the Spiritualist craze of the 1800s and while I'm down to believe in many things, mediums isn't necessarily one of them. But Edie and Violet's story sounded interesting, so I'll join them!
So that's me! What are you reading? And how has your week been?